A Bloomberg journalist who first trained in banking has been awarded the inaugural Sarah Corp Fellowship with Channel 4 News, established in memory of the revered foreign affairs producer who died in 2016.
Solape Renner, 28, was a trainee analyst for the European Central Bank before leaving to pursue a career in journalism and joining Bloomberg News, where she covered breaking news in Nigeria.
The Londoner (pictured, middle), who has a degree in economics and business and a masters in international relations, will now spend a year working with Channel 4 News and ITV News as a foreign affairs producer.
She will also spend six months at Channel 4 News’ Washington Bureau.
“I’m elated and so excited,” she told Press Gazette. “I’m very honoured… Channel 4 is an amazing company. I watched it growing up so it was just amazing to have been selected.”
Renner said that while at the ECB in Frankfurt, Germany, she knew that “deep down I always wanted to be a journalist” and so moved over to the news industry, joining Bloomberg in 2015.
“I saw this [fellowship] opportunity and I said I have to go for it,” she said of the scheme which opened to entries for the first time last year.
“Channel 4 News is great in that they do look at the human stories and today that’s increasingly important, because at the end of the day the news we see affects every day people.”
She said she sees “a lot of diversity” at the public broadcaster, adding: “For them to pick me emphasises what a great diverse company it is.”
Corp joined Channel 4 News as a junior producer in Washington and was behind its coverage of numerous US and European elections, foreign conflicts and global disasters over 17 years. She died of cancer aged 41.
Speaking at the fellowship launch last week, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow said Corp was a “most exceptional and wonderful human being and it rendered her the most incredible producer”.
Channel 4 News international editor Lindsey Hilsum said of the fellowship set up in Corp’s name: “We really wanted to do something for Sarah’s legacy, she was the most brilliant producer… she was the best company on the road – she had that spark and she loved the job.”
ITV News acting editor Rachel Corp told Press Gazette her sister had “always wanted to continue being a producer and doing it really well” and that there was “still so much respect for her” at Channel 4 News.
She said of the fellowship: “The nature of producers is that you are literally unsung but you make it all happen and you don’t really get a credit, so actually to have something that recognises that and promotes that and gets people on board is great,”
She added that Renner was “a brilliant journalist already” and that the fellowship would help her to harness her talent and “make sure that she immediately makes an impact”.
Picture: Channel 4 News